BENEFITING: Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund
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HERE’S THE STORY:
BENEFITING: The Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem and the Ilkisongo Maasai.
The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Maasailand Preservation Trust and Amboseli Trust for Elephants are coming together to bring you: THE MAASAI OLYMPICS
For the first time since 1996, a new generation of Maasai warriors comes into being in the Tsavo-Amboseli ecosystem. Before the end of 2011 the highly anticipated handover of power will occur to more than 4000 young men across the ecosystem, more than 40% of whom are illiterate. What will be expected of these young warriors? What activities will their “fathers” encourage them to pursue? And what, if any, traditional behavior will be forbidden to these warriors in order for the people of this region to survive and prosper in this most challenging of times: the twenty-first century?
A new Maasai warrior generation comes into being only once every twelve to fifteen years. To prepare for this infrequent handover of power, a small group of Maasai leaders, the menye layiok meaning “fathers of the warriors”, are carefully selected by their communities and charged with the singular responsibility of teaching a new warrior generation the “rules” of Maasai warriorhood. For the first time ever, they will determine whether or not these new warriors will be allowed culturally to kill lions and therefore will be critical in the protection of lions, elephants and other wildlife in the ecosystem.
The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Maasailand Preservation Trust and Amboseli Trust for Elephants have come together with the menye layiok on an innovative and historic venture to engage with the new warrior generation in wildlife conservation. This project will be comprised of two major components – education and a regional sports competition: The Maasai Olympics
Central to the education program is a film – “There Will Always Be Lions?” – produced exclusively for this project that will be shown across the ecosystem using mobile projection technology. Instead of lion killing as the means to compete for recognition, express bravery, attract girlfriends, and identify their leaders for life, an organized Maasai sports competition – based upon traditinoal warrior skills: running fast, jumping high, throwing a spear the farthest – will be introduced and led by their teachers, the menye layiok, whose idea it was to create this history-changing alternative to lion killing.
Join us and make a lasting difference, supporting the Maasai to protect their culture and ecosystem and ensure there will always be lions.
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You can become a team member for this project and spread the word to your own friends and family. Just think of the impact we could have if we donate and then ask 10 of our friends to donate too.
What your money can buy –
Mobile film projection (in the community and schools) = $80 per showing
Training new Warriors in competition events = $80 per session
Medals = $10
Sports outfits for competing athletes = $20
Running shoes for competing athletes = $25
Transport of sports competitors = $180 per team
Refreshments = $100 per team
First prize = $125
Second prize = $85
Third prize = $50
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